December 2016

Monthly Archives

Quaker Housing Trust

The Quaker Housing Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 20 January 2017.

The Quaker Housing Trust provides grants and interest free loans to housing projects that cater for people with a wide range of needs, including homes for:

• People with mental & physical health problems
• People with learning difficulties
• People who would otherwise be homeless
• Women escaping domestic violence; etc.

Funding is available for:
• Buying, building, converting, renovating or refurbishing property
• Expanding an existing housing project
• Making a housing project ‘greener’
• Smaller practical things which turn a house into a home.

To be eligible for funding, applicants need to have legal charitable status and be a small organisation (with an annual turnover of not more than £5 million and without access to sufficient income, reserves, or other fundraising, to pay for the work).

Read more

Rosa Women to Women Fund

Rosa the UK Fund for women and girls, has launched a new £2.2 million Women to Women Fund. Supported using funds from the Tampon Tax, local women’s organisations across the UK can apply for grants of up to £25,000 to support a wide range of charitable work that benefits women from building confidence and leadership skills, tackling harassment and violence, to training in financial literacy and increasing engagement in decision-making etc.

Rosa plans to support at least 100 local grassroots women’s organisations across the UK and the grants are available for groups with an income of under £100,000 per year. Rosa especially wants to support groups that work with disadvantaged communities or in disadvantaged areas. Grants can pay for core work, as well as mobilising volunteers, leadership development, communications and advocacy. Grants will be awarded over 3 rounds until March 2018.

Round 2 of the Woman to Woman fund will open in May 2017 and round 3 will open in September 2017.

The deadline for applications for this funding round is 9 am on the 16 January 2017.  Successful applicants will be informed by end March.

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National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust, which supports the repair and revitalisation of church buildings for the benefit of all the community, has announced the launch of its new Maintenance Grant Scheme.

This is a pilot programme, in partnership with the Pilgrim Trust, offering awards of between £1,000 and £2,500 to encourage churches to act on small, urgent maintenance issues and repairs to listed church buildings, as identified in a recent Quinquennial Inspection Report, condition survey or report by a gutter management contractor, and costed at between £2,000 and £10,000. Proposed works must be to the main listed church building, and applicants must be able to show they have already raised 50% of the total repair costs, and to have obtained two quotes for the works.

The closing date for this funding round is the 4 January 2017. There will be three funding rounds in 2017.

More information

Social Media Has Changed the World; Charities Have to Keep Up

Social MediaCharities need to get to grips with social media, particularly video, and find a way to make money from it before it is too late, delegates heard at the Charity Technology Conference.

Chris Michaels, head of digital and publishing at the British Museum, was giving the lunchtime keynote at Civil Society Media’s annual Charity Technology conference yesterday (17th November 2016), when he said that social media had changed the “not just the web but all media”.

He told delegates that “we have to take this stuff extremely seriously” because it is “not going to change back”.

He highlight the “explosion in video” as the biggest change to how the internet operates, and that this is a great opportunity for charities to “tell stories” and produce great content.

Michaels said that charities have to understand social media or risk being left out of conversations.
An example he said was that Donald Trump won the US presidential election because “because he won the social media war”.

He said charities could either “decide to participate in, or have no control of whatsoever” online conversations.

From analysis of activity he said that visitors to the British Museum open Facebook 20 times on average when they visit.

A massive flip in funding
Michaels said he expects there to be a “massive flip” in sources of funding.

At the moment he said the British Museum still gets most of its funding from traditional sources, such as ticket sales at the Museum and funding from government.

But statutory funding is under pressure and visitors expect to engage digitally.

“I don’t know when it will happen but there will be a massive flip,” he said. And that: “We have to believe we can make money from digital sources.”

Embrace video
He said that if charities don’t learn how to tell stories using video they will be left behind.

“Video is the most important thing that is taking place in the whole internet,” he said, which is leading to a “fundamental shift in how the web works”.

More content is produced in video form than in traditional HTML, meaning that “all these web pages might not mean anything in the next five years”.

When experimenting with Periscope, Twitter’s live video app, the museum discovered that people wanted “direct dialogue with people who understand the issue at hand” rather than a polished presenter.

On Facebook he said it was important to attract people’s attention within three seconds.

The British Museum expects to reach five million views on YouTube this year.

He advised charities to consider what their mission is before starting to create content to go back to their purpose.

“Digital too often divorces itself from the history of the organisation,” he said.
For the British Museum, its mission is to “try and tell the story of all human knowledge” which is why it makes sense to try to reach more of the world using digital.


Charity Bosses Need to Get the Message: Mergers Work

mergersDespite evidence of the potential benefits of mergers in the not-for-profit sector, charities still find mergers difficult.

Our third annual review of not-for-profit mergers shows that despite continuing concern about duplication in the sector, just 0.07% of registered charities opted to merge over the past 12 months.

In 2015/16, more than 1,060 charities registered with the Charity Commission, bringing the total to 163,000. But only 116 organisations, with a cumulative income of £799.4m, took part in just 54 merger deals, according to our merger index [pdf], published on 24 November.

Do mergers work? The data shows that the turnover of those charities that led a mergers increased by between 6% and 150% over the two-year period – much better performance than the small organic growth in income for the voluntary sector as a whole over the same time. In seven out of nine cases we found the turnover of the newly merged organisation had also delivered additional growth in excess of the sum of the individual charities pre-merger.

Read the FULL article at:

From: Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

Children in Need Shows Why Charities Need to be Fully Open About Costs

BBC Children in NeedCapital letters don’t work well on radio. So when the excellent promotions for this week’s BBC’s Children in Need appeal tell us that “all your donation will go to Children in Need”, do they also mean “all your donation will go to children in need”?

The BBC insists that they do. After past criticism for implying that the appeal had no administration costs, it has settled on a form of words explaining that “every penny” of a cash donation goes out in a grant to a good cause because overheads are met from other income.

To confirm this is far from easy. You probably need to be a qualified accountant to do so. And after half an hour wrestling with the numbers, you’re left with a lingering sense that whoever put them together has gone through hoops to avoid any suggestion that a donated pound is passing through the books anything less than wholly intact.

This is in no way to attack the BBC’s annual fundraiser. In many ways it is a model of transparency, adhering to the open-data principles of the 360Giving initiative, so that donors can not only find details of the 2,400 UK projects it has supported over the past year, but can also use clever interactive maps to see which ones are in their locality.

The question remains, however, whether Children in Need, which employs 96 people, is doing the wider voluntary sector any favours by suggesting that a charity’s essential overheads can be met in the small print of balance sheet and need not trouble the average donor.

Read the FULL article at:

From: Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

Wing and a Prayer: How Mistrust of Faith-Based Charities Sells Society Short

a_wing_and_a_prayer_by_c0ver_ur_eyes-d50zqyqFaith-based charities play a distinctive and often unappreciated role in society but need to reflect on perceptions that they want to convert people and help only those who share their beliefs.

Suspicion of faith-based charities, although “generally unfounded”, could stop them playing a bigger part in delivery of public services, according to an 18-month study by the New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) thinktank.

As many as one in four registered charities is said to be faith-based, which NPC defines as “a charity that embodies some form of religious belief – or cultural values arising from a religious belief – in its vision or mission, founding history or project content”. Together, faith-based charities raise more than £16bn a year.

The NPC report, What a Difference a Faith Makes, says having a grounding in faith can:

• help charities stay motivated and stick with causes others may see as hopeless
• make them more resilient to changes in the policy and funding environment
• enable them to engage people seen as vulnerable or too hard to reach
• allow them to deliver services that are culturally appropriate and to consider people’s spiritual needs.

The contribution of faith-based charities is undervalued even within the voluntary sector itself, the report finds, with their profile and the trust placed in them often undermined by concern about their motives.

Read the FULL article at:

From: Guardian Voluntary Sector Network

Charity Commission Seeks Public’s Views on Digital Services

Charity CommissionThe Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has today launched a new customer survey about its digital services.

The Commission’s digital vision is to protect the integrity of the register of charities and public confidence in charities by providing customers with simple and easy to use services, as well as collecting data to enable it to regulate effectively, and exploiting new and more effective forms of communication to reach trustees.

The Commission recognises the importance of the public’s opinions and user feedback in achieving these goals and is encouraging users to voice their thoughts on the Commission’s digital services by completing the short survey now available online. The Commission is looking for input on what it can do to improve the range and quality of its current digital offering and changes or additions that would improve the overall user experience.

The survey will stay open for six weeks, closing at 5pm on Wednesday 18 January 2017. It includes questions on users’ priorities when speaking with the Commission and their preferred methods of communication. Responses will be analysed and used to help shape the Commission’s future digital communication tools and projects.

Jane Adderley, head of first contact at the Charity Commission said: “Moving to digital brings a number of benefits including greater ability for charities to self-serve, the delivery of tailored content, and a faster service when charities do need to contact us. User feedback and input is very valuable as we continue on our digital transformation journey and this survey will be a key tool to help us understand customers’ needs and preferences going forward.

“We also recognise that not everyone has access to online services or the necessary skills to engage with us digitally and are undertaking further work in this area to ensure trustees are supported in the move to a more digital future.

You can complete the full survey here.

From: Charity Digital News

Ideas Festival – Local Communities Finding Solutions

changing-our-livesIf you experience a mental health crisis at 1 am, would you want to wait in A&E for hours on end, or would you prefer to chat with others who understand what you’re going through at a local café?

Changing Our Lives is inviting individuals, charities and businesses to share ideas about the development of community places of safety locally and nationally at an Ideas Festival on Friday, 27 January 2017, 1 pm to 4 pm, at West Bromwich Town Hall, High Street, West Bromwich B70 8DT.

These places of safety will be at the heart of a community, such as a café on a busy high street, and will be open in the evenings and at night for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis and want somewhere to go that is not A&E or a police cell.

Changing Our Lives want people to bring ideas, experiences of mental health, knowledge of setting up small businesses and pledges of support to the Ideas Festival. Providers who currently run evening and night-time cafes for those experiencing mental health crises will attend, along with members of the community, faith groups, local businesses and third sector organisations.

Ideas to be developed include where a café could be based locally, how it will look, who can volunteer their time and how can income be generated so the café is self-sustaining.

Does this sound like a venture that you could get behind? Do you already have some ideas of what would be right for our community?

If so, please go along to the Town Hall on the 27 January. Bring your friends, bring your local community group, and most of all bring your ideas!

To book your place at the Ideas Festival, please contact Changing Our Lives on 0300 302 0770.

SCVO Member Feature: Beat It Percussion

SCVO is pleased to feature groups which have recently signed up to become Members.  We hope you will enjoy reading about them and the service(s) they offer.

beat-it-percussionBeat It Percussion CIC is a small Community Interest Company founded in 2013. The aim of Beat It is to bring hands-on drumming activities to people in the community, particularly those living with disadvantage or disability. Through the interactive nature of their work people are not just being entertained, but are experiencing real, measurable benefits in their well-being as well as doing something active and great fun.

Beat It Percussion do a lot of work with older people and those who are living with dementia. Special Schools and groups of people with learning disabilities are also great environments for their work. Recently, they have begun working with young adults who have autism. In addition, Beat It Percussion works with staff teams and community groups who are looking for an enrichment activity that involves people working creatively together and not rolling in mud and shooting each other!

In March 2016 Beat It Percussion in partnership with local community group, A Different Beat, won the Big Lottery People’s Projects Award, after a regional TV and media campaign. They are tremendously pleased to have achieved this with the support of all the people who voted for them. This means that they can now develop their new project, Drumming Together for Dementia, where regular drop-in sessions will be held for people who are living with dementia (and their carers), to go and enjoy making new friends and use drumming to communicate and relieve some of the stresses of everyday life.


Are you a voluntary group, listed on the Voluntary and Community Sector database but not a member of SCVO? Would you like to know the benefits of becoming a member?  Please contact Mazeline on 0121 525 1127 or email




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